The New Hampshire primaries were held on Tuesday night, and based on the results, billionaire and businessman Donald Trump led the GOP candidates, while Democratic candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders edged out Hillary Clinton.
However, even before the New Hampshire primary results were released, Fox News had an embarrassing moment after they prematurely declared a winner for both parties. The network released the data just a few hours after the primaries began.
According to reports, the network accidentally declared Trump, 69, the winner despite the fact that not all of the votes had been counted yet. In the Fox data that appeared on its website, Trump led the Republican candidates with 83,000 votes, which is equivalent to 28 percent of the votes.
Fox News accidentally reports Donald Trump as the winner in New Hampshirehttps://t.co/mUlcc9qlzv
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) February 9, 2016
Coming in at a distant second – again, according to Fox – was Florida Senator Marco Rubio with 15 percent of the votes, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in at third with 12 percent of the votes.
In the Democratic race, Sanders, 74, won against Clinton, 68, by a margin of 10 points, with 53-43 percent.
National Review writer Charles Cooke immediately took notice and pointed it out on social media.
“Fox calls the NH primary, for some reason. Do they know something we don’t?” he said.
Fox calls the NH primary, for some reason. Do they know something we don’t? https://t.co/DNtiKUx64J pic.twitter.com/3sn3I9EWVK
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) February 9, 2016
Cooke also stressed that, in the data, 100 percent of the votes were already counted, and the candidates received specific vote counts.
However, even Cooke was grilled by his own followers on Twitter, stating that it was bad journalism that he intentionally misinformed readers about the fake results.
“You write for National Review. I trusted you. How the heck would we know it was dummy data? Screw you,” one Twitter user said.
@charlescwcooke I didn’t. You write for National Review. I trusted you. How the heck would we know it was dummy data? Screw you.
— SusanDHarris (@PoetKeats) February 9, 2016
But after a few minutes, it seemed Fox noticed the mistake and took down the results page.
“During routine testing in preparation for the New Hampshire primary a malfunction occurred which briefly showed errant data on our website,” said Fox chief digital officer Jeff Misenti.
Misenti also added that the network apologized for the confusion that the error had caused, and that it has been corrected.
It was strange for Fox News to announce a winner ahead of the New Hampshire primary results, considering the fact that Trump has not had a good relationship with the network.
The TV personality skipped the last debate that Fox organized after they refused to pay $5 million to a number of Trump-connected charities in order for Trump to appear at the event.
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 31, 2016
The mishap was seen as a mistake, but it was also a testing ground for Fox in providing live updates in the upcoming primaries to be held other states.
A few hours after the network posted the erroneous data, the real results were out.
Trump cruised to an early win in the New Hampshire primaries, and as the counting progressed, he continued to widen the gap between him and the second candidate, Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Trump finished with 35.2 percent, while Kasich, 63, got 15.9 percent of the votes. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush each got 11 percent.
“Wow, wow, wow,” Trump said after the New Hampshire primary results were released. “We are going to make America great again.”
Donald Trump Speaks After Winning in the New Hampshire Primary Results
On the Democratic front, Sanders had a huge win over Clinton after a tightly contested battle in Iowa last week. The senator tallied a total 59.9 percent of the votes, while Clinton only got 38.4 percent.
Sanders also thanked his supporters after the results.
“Tonight we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California,” he said.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 10, 2016
Martin O’Malley, who dropped out of the presidential bid after the Iowa caucuses, got 0.2 percent of votes.
The next primaries will be held in South Carolina on Feb. 20 for the GOP, and on the 27th for the Democratic party.
[Images by Scott Eisen and Matthew Cavanaugh, Getty Images]